Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei (Alarm für Cobra 11, Cobra 11, AfC11, C11 for short) is a German action series that was produced from 1995 to 2020 and broadcast by RTL from 1996 to 2021
The series describes the operations of the Kripo Autobahn, a fictional department of the Autobahn Police. The main characters are two police officers who together make up the Cobra 11 team.
The main task of the Cobra 11 team is to solve crimes and find perpetrators. Typical elements of the genre action are used, so that there are regular chases, exchanges of fire, explosions and fistfights. These action scenes are often elaborately produced and spectacularly staged. The series was the most complex and expensive of the RTL productions.
The first three seasons were produced by Polyphon, with action concept being responsible for the stunts. The broadcasting time is on Thursdays at 8:15 p.m. after the broadcast on Tuesdays at the beginning of the series.
The series began in 1996 with the pilot film bombs at kilometer 92. The 22nd season was broadcast from September 14, 2017 to May 3, 2018 with a three-month broadcast break.
The 44th broadcast season, which includes 11 episodes, has been broadcast since September 13, 2018. At the beginning of March of the same year, RTL announced that the series would be continued in 2019 with another production series. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the austerity measures taken by RTL, the series is currently subject to a production stop. After the broadcast of the 25th season, the series will be subjected to a revision and rated.
The Cobra 11 team initially consisted of Chief Inspector Frank Stolte and Chief Inspector Ingo Fischer. After just two episodes, Chief Detective Inspector Semir Gerkhan took the place of Ingo Fischer, after the latter had been shot in an operation. Since then, the role of Semir Gerkhan has remained an integral part of the series, while his teammate has changed several times. In 2020, major changes were built into the series, because for the first time Semir Gerkhan has a woman as a team colleague at his side in Vicky Reisinger, the rest of the Autobahn Police team has been almost completely replaced and the police station has been extensively redesigned.
From the beginning of the series was the radio call name “Cobra 11” for the office of the Autobahn police station 11 and “Cobra” for the regional police control center, while the main actors Cobra 11/1 and Cobra 11/2 and the uniformed actors as inter alia. Cobra 11/4 occurred, which partly corresponds to the real radio call name schemes of the BOS radio for the police.
With the takeover of the production by action concept, “Cobra 11” became the radio call name of the two main actors, while the agency became “Cobra”, the uniformed men became “Cobra 19”, the actors of Team 2 became “Cobra 12”, and the agency management to “Cobra 1”. In 1983 the two “heroes of the first hour” tell a story about the origin of the name, according to which Semir brought the nickname Cobra to the motorway police. Semir comments on this with the words, one should not believe everything that small children or old men say. It can’t be right either because the radio name Cobra was used in the first episodes when Semir wasn’t part of the series.
The series usually begins with a crime. This is followed by a car chase on the motorway, followed by a pile-up and / or an exchange of fire. Usually the perpetrator or perpetrators can flee. Then the two commissioners determine. Suspects are interrogated and investigated in the private sphere of the perpetrator. Most of the time, a suspect is arrested or important evidence is seized. At the end there is another chase after a more or less successful “access”. The perpetrator is arrested or he has an accident.
At the beginning of the 19th season, a second storyline was introduced for one of the two commissioners (Semir Gerkhan) for the first time in the series. This extends over several seasons. According to its own information, the series would include grow up through it. Another innovation from this season is that a head writer has been introduced into the series. With the entry of Vinzenz Kiefer (Alex Brandt) into the series, another storyline was introduced. This develops over the entire season, which leads to a cliffhanger at the end of the season. The episodes also seem somber and make up for the comedic style that drew every episode from 2008 to 2013.
Some of the episodes deal with tragic topics, such as the death of loved ones, while in others humorous elements predominate. Especially in the recent past there have been some episodes with rather bizarre content. In Jenseits von Eden, for example, one sees an attempted coup by former NVA soldiers, while Road Trip is based on a Western.
Since the beginning of season 25, the series has been returning to its original episode schemes from 1996–1999, and thus the criminal cases and investigative work, but also the characters themselves, with their own fates and setbacks in life and work, move significantly more into the Focus than in the last few seasons with sometimes exaggerated, but entertaining action scenes. Current events such as B. the controversial racial profiling in the police, and new digital command and control tools and investigation methods are finding their way into the series.